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Boys Town Helps Develop Continuum of Care at Children’s Home in Trinidad


For many years, Sister Arlene Greenidge, Director of St. Dominic's Children's Home in Port of Spain, Trinidad, has been influenced by the man and mission that started Boys Town. The goals that Father Flanagan set to improve the lives of youth and provide healthy environments for children to prosper, guided Sister Arlene's pursuit to reach out and give the youth in Trinidad a chance at a successful future.

For the past few years, St. Dominic's Children's Home has been working with Florida State University and Boys Town National to develop a trauma-informed plan that would fit a variety of youth needs in the area. The country is greatly affected by poverty and violence, which often leads to children needing protection from abuse, neglect and human trafficking. Much like Father Flanagan, Sister Arlene and the staff at St. Dominic's Children's Home wanted to lead the change in overcoming such adversities.

To help St. Dominic's Children's Home reach their final transitioning steps, Jacqueline Barksdale, Clinical Support Specialist at Boys Town North Florida, traveled to Trinidad to assist them in building their framework for a Continuum of Care, which would expand their programs beyond residential services. During her week-long stay with the children and staff in October, Jacqueline provided training to 32 staff members over topics that focused on Child Development, Separation and Loss, Trauma-Informed Care, Behavior Management, Social Skills and Independent Living Skills.

"The training was extremely informative, relevant and excellent in allowing the direct care providers the opportunity to see the importance of their role in the organization, as well as, it gave some very useful tactics to incorporate in daily care that could positively change the landscape of care already offered at SDCH," said St. Dominic's Children's Home Clinical Psychologist, Petra.

Now, St. Dominic's Children's Home staff has been trained to build on family engagement and use various Boys Town model concepts to assist in training, as well as, use Teaching Social Skills to Youth in their interventions to the children. "We were only able to make this journey of realization because of Jackie's skill and professional posture," said Sister Arlene. "The process which Jackie used was energizing and the substance engendered hope."